Perhaps you’re refitting your bathroom and you want to know more about “garden bathtubs”. Or perhaps you’ve simply heard the term mentioned and it’s piqued your interest. What is a garden bathtub? How much do they cost? And would a garden bathtub be right for you?
If you have been wondering about these questions or any others related to this hot topic in interior design, we have all the answers you’ve been looking for. So let’s jump right in – so to speak – and find out everything there is to know about garden bathtubs.
Some history first
Before we talk about what garden bathtubs have become nowadays, let’s start by talking about where they came from. What’s the history behind the idea?
We can trace the origins of garden bathtubs back to 18th century Europe and specifically to France. Back then, wealthy aristocrats with big houses and plenty of land installed large and luxurious bathtubs in their gardens so they could bathe outside close to nature.
The English then took the idea and started installing them indoors in places with views over their gardens or other beautiful landscapes – presumably because the unreliable weather there made it less practical to have permanent bathtubs outside!
What about now?
So what are modern “garden bathtubs”? Well, it’s a little tricky to find a strict and universally-accepted definition, but one thing we can say is that being outside is not essential. You can just as easily have a garden bathtub indoors – and we’ll come back to this point in a moment.
Garden bathtubs are also sometimes known as “soaking tubs”, and one of the requirements for a tub to qualify as one is its size. Garden bathtubs are not just for washing, they are intended for long, luxurious soaks, and as such, they are bigger than regular bathtubs.
Regular bathtubs usually measure around 60” in length by 30” wide and 20” deep. However, a garden bathtub would typically measure at least 60” in length by 40” wide and 25-35” deep.
The extra depth is particularly important because a garden bathtub is designed to allow you to comfortably submerge yourself in the water. Again, it’s all about luxury and indulgence.
Something else that most garden bathtubs have in common is that they are supposed to be freestanding bathtubs. While a corner bathtub might be luxurious, most aficionados would argue that it doesn’t qualify as one, even if it meets many of the other requirements.
Another point is that garden bathtubs are supposed to be for tranquil soaking – and for this reason, purists would argue that a hot tub with jets and bubbles is not a true garden bathtub.
What are they made of? Traditionally, garden tubs are made of natural materials like granite or marble. Cast iron is another popular choice, although tubs are now available in less expensive materials like acrylic or even plastic – it depends on how much money you are willing to spend.
What about the “garden” element?
So we mentioned that the original garden bathtubs were located outside or at the very least close to a window with a view of the garden and the scenery.
Nowadays, this is no longer what defines a “garden bathtub”, but most people are aware of the soothing effects of being close to nature, and those who choose to install one often make an effort to try to stay as close to this ideal as possible.
Yes, some people still place their garden bathtub outside, but for others, this might not be practical or even possible. One popular alternative is to place it in a room filled with exotic plants to try to recreate the effect of being outside and in a natural setting.
You can enjoy something of the sensation of being in a far-away place by surrounding yourself with ferns, palms and other similar vegetation. A garden bathtub is not just about the tub itself; it’s about creating the perfect setting for relaxation.
This way, even if you live in a city apartment, you can still benefit from the rejuvenating effects of a long soak in the steaming water surrounded by a green, natural environment, even in the big smoke.
Also Read: best portable bathtub for adults
Is a garden bathtub right for you?
If you’ve been reading this and you find the concept appealing, you might be wondering if a garden bathtub could be an option for you. Let’s have a look at this now.
The first thing you need to think about is the size of your bathroom since garden bathtubs need a lot of space. If you don’t have an extra-large bathroom, you might need to give up on the idea of a garden bathtub because it just won’t be practical.
Remember, it’s a freestanding tub that will dominate the room. Even if technically you have the dimensions to fit one in, if your bathtub is too large for the space, it will make your bathroom feel cramped. This is hardly the opulent, luxurious effect you’re looking to create.
The next thing to consider is the cost. Simply buying the bathtub itself will set you back at least a good several thousand dollars, but after that, you need to think about creating the right environment in the bathroom, and this will cost even more.
Then there’s the simple fact that due to the larger volume, owning a garden bathtub will automatically mean your water bills go up. Garden bathtubs are certainly not a budget option.
Garden bathtubs are ideal for people who enjoy spending long hours unwinding in peaceful surroundings in a large tub, who have the space to install one and who don’t mind spending the money. Otherwise, you might be better off considering other possibilities.
In the meantime, if you’re looking for inspiration, check out this video with lots of ideas for hot tubs and garden bathtubs you might like to consider.
An increasingly popular choice
While it’s hard to define exactly what a garden bathtub is – and you’re free to call your tub a garden bathtub if you want it to be one – the general idea is something luxurious, indulgent and close to nature, whether indoors or out.
If you have the space to install one and you don’t mind spending the cash, they can provide a haven where you can retreat from the stresses of your daily life, unwind and recharge the batteries. It’s hardly surprising, then, that garden bathtubs are an increasingly popular choice.